TWO murder trials could be delayed for several months because court rooms are not able to allow social distancing.

Judge Christine Laing QC said because of the coronavirus pandemic, trials set to take place in June and July at Lewes Crown Court probably will not go ahead until December.

It means the trial of Jayesh Gobar, the man accused of killing British Airways cabin crew worker Nelly Myers in Rotherfield in December, may not be able to start in June.

It may also affect the trial of Daniel Appleton, 37, accused of killing his wife Amy Appleton, 32, and Sandy Seagrave, 76, at Hazel Way in Crawley Down in December.

Judge Laing said there were a number of “class one cases” for murder listed in Sussex during the current period.

When the lockdown was introduced, two trials had to be stopped and one which had been scheduled in April has been postponed.

In a Skype hearing for the Gobar case, prosecutor Richard Hearnden said: “We are in the lap of the gods. I did hear from Her Honour Judge Christine Henson that the courts at Lewes simply aren’t going to be suitable.”

Judge Laing said Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service is looking at plans for courts which are able to abide by social distancing to take on class one cases as a “priority”.

She said until there is further Government advice next week, the trial listing in June will be kept but a provisional date in December has been agreed to allow for the trial, which is expected to take two weeks.

Gobar, 35, of Moorland Road, Maidenbower, Crawley, denies murder.

Mr Hearnden said: “This case would be reasonably close to the top of the priority list. I think I speak for everybody when we say we probably expect this trial to be moved. The fact it is back to December is a matter of regret, but there is not much I can say to change that.”

Meanwhile there may also be a delay in the case of Daniel Appleton, who denies killing his wife and a pensioner in December.

It is currently set for July, but may be delayed until the New Year.

Judge Laing said: “There is no court room at Lewes that would allow a trial to take place with the social distancing that would likely be required.”